TOTEM Cirque du Soleil (Review)

Last night I had the great pleasure of entering the Grand Chapiteau to watch Cirque du Soleil’s newest touring event, TOTEM.  This spectacular troupe of creative athletes have been blowing audiences away with mesmerising circus work for about 30 years now.  This is my 4th visit to the big top, and they are only getting better with age.

Every Cirque show includes a dazzling array of acrobatics, clowning and visual effects.   But this is truly no ordinary circus.  Every Cirque du Soleil show is based on a theme, which it stretches and bends like the limbs of the performers themselves. TOTEM is the story of ‘man’, from our ape-like ancestors to modern day mobile-phone toting homo sapiens.  In a little over 2 hours, you’ll witness tribal storytelling, world music, Darwinian anthropologists and beach bogans – all as interpreted by some of the world’s most impressive physical performers.

I always find it extremely difficult to explain a Cirque du Soleil show to someone who hasn’t seen them perform.  ‘Clowns’, ‘jugglers’, ‘acrobats’, ‘plate spinners’– they’re all such inadequate words!  There’s plate spinning, and then there’s riding a unicycle while you flip plates from your foot onto the head of another moving unicyclist.  There’s juggling, and then there’s juggling illuminated balls that rebound off the walls of the huge conical flask you’re standing in, dressed as a mad scientist.   You basically have to take what you THINK you know about circus and flip it on its head – literally.  These are that rare brand of performances that make the most hardened and cynical theatre goer say ‘Wow!’.

Here’s a sneak peak!

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Cirque du Soleil have several shows touring all around the world all time, and they’re always of the same high standard.  Brisbane folks have until the end of May to catch TOTEM before it moves on to Adelaide – but tickets are selling fast. 

If you’re planning to take the family, I’d suggest letting young kids check out the preview first. It’s absolutely a family show, but it can be a little loud and overwhelming. It’s also around 2 hours long (with an interval) and there’s not much space for squirmy kids to jump up and down. There is onsite parking, but the traffic to get in and out of the venue was heavy on our visit, so allow a little extra time.  With these things in mind, though, a trip to Cirque du Soleil will be an unforgettable experience for kids and adults alike!

CLICK HERE for tickets and further information. 

I was gifted complimentary tickets to see TOTEM, but all opinions are my own. 

9 comments for “TOTEM Cirque du Soleil (Review)

  1. TK
    May 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Saw Totem in April 2016 in Tokyo. Have to say it was VERY disappointing. Even more so than OVO which was quite boring. I had seen many other shows that came to Japan, as well as some in Las Vegas. The previous shows (ones before OVO) were really good. Artistically superb, the clowns had a great sense of humor, the order of performances was effective, and the musical aspect was also very good. But OVO and TOTEM did nothing but disgrace to the name of Cirque du Soleil. The performances were something we have all seen somewhere before, the low-key flexibility and balance acts were not effectively used in the midst of more dynamic performances, and I just felt sorry for the people I had asked to come with me. I hope that Cirque du Soleil is aware of the reviews for OVO and TOTEM, especially from those of people who have seen other shows.

  2. zoe
    July 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Can’t believe that the day would come, and I’d write a bad review for Cirque du Soleil!!!?! Could be that I had high expectations by already seeing few of their shows, like amazing and breathtaking Quidam, Allegria, or Ovo ,but something was missing from Totem, ….actually a lot…
    Without undermining undoubtedly talented performers, if it wasn’t for amazing music and couple of beautiful scenes (Indian couple romantic roller dancing, and Indonesian girls on a unicycle ) the show would be a complete fail! It was just all over the place,trying to say something without any structure at all, unlike their previous shows who had beautiful flow to its story,without being too obvious! I mean I would still go and see them if they tour again, but only because of their fantastic track record and ‘out of this world’ performances in the past, and also as I believe that do deserve a second chance. I just hope they don’t disappoint again next time,and become a classic circus instead of something really unique.

    • This Charming Mum
      July 5, 2015 at 7:14 am

      That’s a real shame that you were disappointed with this one. I guess I find their skill so amazing that I’m always impressed by what they have to offer! I always find them well above and beyond a classic circus. At the same time, I do agree that this show had less story than some. I hope the next show restores your love for the troupe 🙂

  3. Leandrea Goves
    May 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Seating is a joke, we purchased 3 tickets however the lady next to use was excessively large and for the first half of the show my 15 year old sat on my lap. At interval we complain to a manager who then decided to move the two fat ladies to the premium front stage seats and we were left where we where. I paid $100 each for 3 seats and ended up only have 2 and the fat people were rewarded. What a joke!!

    • This Charming Mum
      May 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      It’s really unfortunate that you had that experience. I agree with you that the seating at the Brisbane show was very tight, although we still really enjoyed the performance. Hopefully the manager will pass your feedback on to the appropriate people.

  4. April 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I took my seven year old daughter (at her insistence) to the Sydney show in January. It was awesome. And it must be said that there was some stellar crumpet on display. It was remiss of you to mention this Lara 😉

    • This Charming Mum
      April 12, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Ha ha, true dat Mumabs! Actually, it was one of the women who I found myself staring at the most. Couldn’t take my eyes off her 6 pack! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a female body like it. They must absolutely live and breathe their fitness regimes to be so powerful. Glad your daughter loved it. I think a Cirque show would be quite an unforgettable experience for a child who’s never seen anything like it before. 🙂

  5. April 12, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I might have to look into going – not sure my 3yo would have the sitting power, or my 5yo for that matter! Maybe a kid free night out x

    • This Charming Mum
      April 12, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      Yes, I think my 3yo would be a bit squirmy – and possibly scared by all the flashing lights etc. I’m trying to find a date to see it again with my Miss 8 though – I reckon she’d love it. It’s almost sold out though! Maybe next time!

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